Many people experience feelings of fear and confusion when finding out that their loved one has been in an accident. But you can’t let fear overcome you, if you ever get that urgent call, you are the one that has to be clear-headed. Providing assistance is of the utmost importance. Here are the immediate things you need to do right after an accident to help your loved one. The following steps could save their life.
Call Emergency Services (EMS)
If your loved one is nervous, anxious, trapped in the car, or even dazed, call an ambulance. Our fight or flight instincts always kick in after an accident, so your loved one may not immediately realize when they have sustained an injury. Tell them to stay put, stop moving about, and wait for EMS, even if they don’t want to go to the hospital. You don’t want to find out later that they have a concussion or internal injuries.
Call the Police
Call the police so they can make a traffic accident report and get all the necessary information. They will write a police report and you need to get a copy of this report just in case you file a claim against the other driver.
Don’t ever leave the scene of an accident without getting the other driver’s personal information. Write down their name, address, and insurance information. Write down anything about the car you remember including the license plate number. Lastly, make sure to get their phone number.
Call an Attorney
No matter your family member was at fault or not, call an attorney that specializes in car accidents. Preferably you want a firm that also has a criminal defense lawyer just in case your loved one gets charged with a crime. This is important if your loved one did not follow traffic laws.
But even if they are not at fault, it is a good idea to call a lawyer. You are not going to want to take any initial settlement an insurance company offers, and they will try to make an immediate offer in the hopes of getting you to accept. Work with an experienced car accident lawyer to have them work out the details with the insurance company.
Make sure your family member is safe, then take photos of the accident. Take pictures of both vehicles and of any other damage. Make sure you get pictures of anything that could be relevant such as traffic lights, bushes, or anything else that might have influenced the accident.
Look Around for Witnesses
Get the names and numbers of witnesses if they were around when it happened. Record their testimony and their contact information in case you need to contact them later.
Check on Your Family Member at the Hospital
Keep in mind that you are the only cool-headed person on the scene. Your family member is probably in a state of shock, so you will need to pick him/her up from the hospital. Make sure you review the injuries and talk to the doctor. Ask the medical staff to make a detailed account of all injuries, prescriptions, treatment, and rehab needs.
If your loved one is being charged with something, they will usually be allowed to go home before the charges go into effect. Once you have everyone home and safe, call your attorney again to see how you should proceed.
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